Quaker's Wife

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QUAKER'S WIFE, THE. AKA and see "Merrily Danced the Quaker," "Merrily Kissed the Quaker's Wife". English, Scottish; Jig. G Major (Howe): D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Howe): AABB (most versions). Bayard (1981) believes this tune derived from "Mill Mill Oh (The)". The Scottish national poet Robert Burns once wrote: "Among many of his airs (referring to the celebrated oboist Thomas Fraser's playing) that please me, there is one, well known as a Reel [it is really a 6/8 jig] by the name of 'The Quaker's wife' & which I remember a grand Aunt of mine used to sing, by the name of 'Liggeram cosh, my bonie wee lass' Mr. Fraser plays it slow, & with an expression that quite charms me I got such an enthusiast in it, that I mad a Song for it." The song Burns wrote he called "Blythe Hae I Been on yon hill."

Grace Orpen printed the melody in her 1931 book The Dances of Donegal [1], as the vehicle for the dance A Trip to the Cottage.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 120. Jarman (Old Time Fiddlin' Tunes), No. or p. 18. Kennedy (Fiddlers Tune Book), vol. 1, 1951; No. 97, p. 48. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 1), c. 1880's; p. 32. Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; p. 110.

Recorded sources:

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